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13 tips to have more willpower

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

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In 2013, researchers from Stanford University published a work in the prestigious journal Neuron where they identified an area of the brain (the ” anterior cingulate cortex “, located approximately 5 centimeters behind the nose) as the responsible area, or the one that induces we have the strong will to persevere in the face of obstacles that are presented to us.

Tom Photo Cycling vía Unsplash

Previous work had already identified this brain space as the area that becomes involved when there are changes in behavior, or when it is necessary to decide on the paths to follow to achieve a specific goal.

Assuming that the vast majority of human beings have good intentions and purposes about themselves and their immediate environment, what determines that, no matter how willing, there can come a time when they falter?

The act of human willpower is related to a mental energy that allows to maintain control, as if it were a flight controller of an airplane that maintains the course towards the desired goal.

However, as the human being is not an infallible machine, the involvement of emotions causes self-control to be lost, and thus despair and doubts about one’s own potential can appear.

Regardless of the objectives that a person sets, there is always the possibility of stimulating the will.

Something frequent is to confuse it with the desire, as if the will were its synonym. However, the issue is more complex. Surely many have experienced wanting to achieve certain goals, and yet not having enough will to achieve it. A concrete example is diets, or starting an exercise program on a regular basis: it is abandoned soon after. To achieve this, it takes the will.

Marcos Paulo Prado via Unsplash

The will is self-determined

Willpower is non-transferable; therefore, it is a self-determination of each person , who must necessarily be fully involved in pursuit of the goal.

The fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of the final result is what leaves the vast majority in an uncomfortable comfort zone.

Having determination, firmness and persistence are three of the characteristics common to people who have the will on their part to carry out even seemingly unattainable challenges. Examples of all kinds are known: amputees who run marathons, elite guitarists without hands, painters who make art with their mouth or feet, and those who have lost everything by some unfortunate episode, and have completely reassembled in a short time. This is putting the will at the service of life and moving on.

The opposite is what more than 95% of people fall into, which is inaction, complaint and victimization.

13 traits of strong-willed people

To help you overcome the lack of will, here are these thirteen traits that distinguish these types of people, so that you too can exercise and adopt them:

  1. They know each other in depth . People who dive inside are more likely to exercise and master their will.
  2. They know how to differentiate effort and sacrifice. They learned to dose their energy to make it more available to persist toward their great goals.
  3. They analyze your strengths and weaknesses. So they know where to continue improving step by step.
  4. They do not complain . They take permanent action. The complaint is a complete waste of time.
  5. They surround themselves with supportive people. They let pass those who allow them to advance, and do not remain tied to those who limit them.
  6. They strip the approval of others. They go their way, share with the environment; but he does not seek to please everyone. This is called freedom.
  7. Very specific objectives are set. They do not go with turns. They define a path with a starting point, an arrival, and a step by step on the timeline with small actions towards the grand finale.
  8. They encourage each other . They are not selfish. They enjoy the achievements of others.
  9. They are more aware of risks , and are specially prepared to face them. They put aside fear and fear, to convert them into courage and bravery. And, essentially, mistakes are forgiven and automatically turned into learning. It’s not that they don’t feel them: they transform them into something positive.
  10. They take advantage of their time. They are organized and productive. They don’t waste their energy on small talk or events.
  11. They are silent about their big goals . They share with very few people, as a way of self-preservation.
  12. They have autonomous motivation . They do not look for others to give them words of encouragement, although they will gladly receive them if they arrive.
  13. A reward is given for each minimal achievement. From a gift, to eat something delicious, to treat yourself, to a soaking bath, or to spend special time alone: anything goes to stimulate a sense of achievement. It is a simple prize, to reinforce your will.

And you, do you recognize yourself in these traits of will? Which ones can you develop further?

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